Songwriters/performing artists Ashford & Simpson, GRAMMY-winning violinist Joshua Bell, GRAMMY-winning artist Melissa Etheridge, GRAMMY-winning creators of "Les Misérables" — Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer and Claude-Michel Schönberg — and R&B singer/songwriter Trey Songz are recipients of the New York Chapter Recording Academy Honors 2013. The event, which will attract recording artists, key entertainment executives and community leaders, will be hosted June 25 at 583 Park Avenue in New York.
The Recording Academy Honors was established to celebrate outstanding individuals whose work embodies excellence and integrity and who have improved the environment for the creative community. This gala will support the Chapter's ongoing advocacy, education and professional development programs.
Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson have long ranked among the most acclaimed and admired creative couples in contemporary music. The GRAMMY-nominated songwriting duo was responsible for writing some of music's most notable songs. Joining Motown Records in 1966, they penned hits such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" and Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman." The songwriting/producing team also found success with their own hits "Found A Cure" and "Solid." In 2002 the couple was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Ashford died in 2011 at the age of 70.
As one of the world's most celebrated violinists, Bell's stunning virtuosity, beautiful tone and charismatic stage presence have brought him universal acclaim. Since making his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17, he has toured the world with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony. He currently holds the role of new music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the first person and first American to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. The ensemble's first 15-concert tour through the United States garnered rave reviews, and their first recording under Bell's leadership of Beethoven's 4th and 7th symphonies debuted at No.1 on Billboard's Classical Albums chart.
One of the top female rock icons of all time, Etheridge became one of the most popular recording artists of the '90s with hits such as "I'm The Only One" and "Come To My Window." Her best-selling album to date, 1993's Yes I Am, sold 6 million copies in the United States and spent more than two and a half years on the charts. She is a two-time GRAMMY winner for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Ain't It Heavy" and "Come To My Window." In 2007 Etheridge won an Oscar in the Music (Original Song) category for "I Need To Wake Up," which was featured in Al Gore's documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.
"Les Miserablés" creators — book writer/lyricist Boublil, lyricist Kretzmer and composer/book writer Schönberg — adapted Victor Hugo's novel of the same name into a musical masterpiece. Originally conceived and produced in France, it has been performed around the world, including performances in London's West End and on Broadway in New York. In 1987 the musical won eight Tony Awards for its actors and production, including Best Musical, and a GRAMMY for Best Musical Cast Show Album. In 2010 the musical celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Trey Songz is a GRAMMY-nominated, multifaceted singer/songwriter, rapper, producer, and actor who burst onto the R&B scene in 2005 with his debut album, I Gotta Make It. Since then he has continued to release a string of successful albums, including 2010's Passion, Pain & Pleasure, which featured the hits "Bottoms Up" (feat. Nicki Minaj) and "Can't Be Friends." In 2012 he released Chapter V, which debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.
The New York Chapter Recording Academy Honors 2013 will begin with a VIP cocktail hour followed by dinner and the tribute presentations with celebrity presenters and performers. For information on tickets and sponsorship packages, contact the New York Chapter office at 212.245.5440. The event is sponsored by ASCAP, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Cameron Mackintosh, Universal Music Group, Universal Pictures, and Warner Music Group.